- 1 large octopus, weighing about
- 1.5 kg/3 lb 5 oz
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/4 bunch parsley, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- large square of muslin
- 500 g/1 lb 2 oz ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 4 red chillies, grilled, peeled, deseeded and chopped
- juice and finely grated zest of 3 limes
- 250 ml/9 fl oz extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 iceberg lettuce, washed and finely sliced
- lime juice and olive oil, for dressing
- 1/4 bunch of coriander, leaves picked and chopped
Remove the eyes and beak from the octopus and wash thoroughly. Place in a large saucepan with the carrots, onion, garlic, peppercorns, parsley and bay leaf. Cover with cold water and season with salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 2 hours or until the octopus is very tender.
Wearing rubber gloves, remove the octopus from the pan and place on muslin. Roll the octopus up into a ball so that all the legs fold inwards, then twist the muslin into a very tight ball and tie tightly with string. Place in a large bowl and refrigerate until cold. The octopus will set firm. The best results are after chilling for 24 hours.
To make the dressing, combine the tomatoes, chillies, lime juice and zest and olive oil in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Dress the lettuce with a squeeze of lime juice and some olive oil (or some of the liquid from the tomato dressing), and arrange it in a mound on a serving plate. Using a sharp knife, slice across the octopus and arrange the slices on the lettuce. Dress liberally with the tomato dressing and finish with the coriander.